Discover beauties of the National Karakol park
The Ala Kul lake is a popular destination in Kyrgyzstan, touristy but the lake is amazing nice, from the Karakol valley to Altyn Arashan valley and its hot water springs.
In the morning, we will go by local-bus to the Karakol Leskhoz (Karakol National Park) ~15min (20km). The hike to Sirota campsite ~5-6 hours (22km). You will be walking alongside the river for ~3 hours (11km) and then cross a bridge with a cable and trek up the valley to the campsite. You will be able to see Tien-Shan pine trees and the Karakol river flowing with glacier water. Overnight in the tent
Leaving the campsite, you will summit Ala-Kul Lake (3600m) in ~2-3 hours (4km). Enjoy a short hike around the lake and it’s also possible to make a summit at one of the nearby peaks. During winter Ala-Kul freezes solid and it’s still a mystery how deep the lake is. Beware at night the temperatures fall below 0 C. Overnight in the tent
The path, difficult hike up a scree to the neck Ala-Kul to 3890 meters. From the pass, the view is absolutely magnificent lake and surrounding peaks. Descend to the colorful canyon Keldike camp in the valley of Altyn Arashan.
Descend through the piste. Our vehicle waits us near the first bridge at the entrance of the gorge. Transfer to Karakol, check into a guest house.
Very good and flexible organisation ! NIce proximity with local persons. Top guides !
Alex was great with communicating and organising our custom trip before hand. The trip itself was fantastic. He knew the area really well and we had great fun, ski touring in the Suusamyr area. He speaks the local language and knows families to stay with, which gave us a glimpse into the Kyrgyzstan hospitality and their traditions. I want to go back and see more of the fascinating and beautiful country.
On your way
Karakol gorge KG
The Karakol valley is fully part of the Karakol Natural Park. Located on the south part of Karakol city, from the Altyn Arashan valley till Chelpek valley. The natural park was organized in 1997 to preserve the unique natural ecosystem of the Karakol valley. The main objectives are the protection of plants and animals in the park, typical of the North-East of Kyrgyzstan, as well as the organization of leisure of the population and foreign tourists. The flora is represented by 700 species, 80 of them - trees and shrubs. The fauna are roe deer, goat, fox, marten, ermine, rock partridge, etc. There are included in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan:. Snow leopard, Kumai, saker falcon, bearded vulture, golden eagle. The valley is surrounded by the highest peaks of the Teskey Alatoo, like the peak Karakol (5281 m.), peak Djigit (5130 m.), peak Prjevalski (4283 m.), peak Jukova (4450 m.), peak Telmana (4460 m) and Dimitrova Peak (4450 m). Peaks Djigit and Karakol offer very difficult routes, and a good acclimatization before climbing Khan Tengri or Pobeda peaks.
At the eastern tip of Lake Issyk-Kul, Karakol is a fertile garden town of wooden chocolate-box cottages and shady, poplar-lined avenues. Fringed to the east by the Terskey Ala-Too Mountains, which tower dramatically over its low-rise skyline, Issyk-Kul ripples 10 km to the west.
Karakol is the best base from which to explore the lakeshore and Central Asia's prime trekking and mountaineering routes. With the most spectacular parts of the Central Tien-Shan right on its doorstep and newly open to foreign visitors, the town attracts trekkers, hikers and climbers from all over the world.
Karakol and its surroundings have just as much to offer their less energetic visitors. Besides one of Kyrgyzstan's largest and most colorful bazaars, a nomadic livestock market and several good museums, its spectacular environs boast an endless array of truly unique day trips. Blood-red cliffs, hot springs, Scythian burial mounds, nomad camps and sandy beaches thousands of miles from the sea are all within easy reach.
The town was build since 1869, one year after Teplokluchenka (actually name Ak-Suu). There is a unique building in the center of Karakol - ancient wooden orthodox church. But you may visit also the zoo, the regional museum, the wooden mosque, the Panfilov park, the Park Victory, the museum and memorial Prejwalski.
Despite Karakol's status as the administrative center of the Issyk-Kul region, it has only 75,000 residents and a gentle, small-town atmosphere.
Altyn Arashan hot water springs KG
One of the most beautiful places in Kyrgyzstan is the Altyn Arashan Gorge (Kyrgyz "source of gold".) Its scenic beauty, a gem of the mountain - Ala Kul and its hot springs, known for their beneficial properties, have Long captured the hearts of people who come here.The mountainous valley of the Arashan River is located 10 kilometers east of the city of Karakol.
The hot springs are located at an attitude of 2600 meters above sea level. They are known for their healing properties: radon and hydrogen sulfide. In the first source, a high concentration of radon in water has beneficial effects on the human body: accelerating the process of healing and resorption, in the nerve fibers of muscle and bone tissue, improves heart function. And hydrogen sulfide baths cure a variety of skin diseases, cardiovascular disorders, for the restoration and normalization of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system.
Ala-Kul lake KG
Ala Kul lake (or Ala Koel in Kyrgyz) is located in the upper part of the river Kurgaktor at an altitude of 3532 meters. The lake is 70 meters deep. Its origin is glacial and some glaciers are still visible, especially in the north of the lake. There is no island and the name in Kyrgyz means "colorfull". The lake can be reach by foot only in one day, from Altyn Arashan refuge or from Karakol valley.
What is included
All transportation in a private vehicle
All airport transfers
Accommodation as described in the program
Meals (3 per day)
Bottled water (when possible) & tea
English-speaking trekking guide
Pack horses with saddle bags & horsemen
Camping & cooking equipment (tents, mats, gas, stove, etc)
All the activities listed in the program
Entry fees at national parks and/or border zones listed in the program
Entry fees at museums and historical sites listed in the program
Domestic flights mentioned in the program
A contribution to our sustainable development projects
Organisation of the trip & local taxes
What is not included
International banking fees (PayPal, ...)
Travel & repatriation insurance
Visas / LOI (if applicable)
Alcoholic and soft drinks
Personal equipment (sleeping bag, headlight, personal medication, etc)
Additional costs due to unexpected personal events (health, loss of luggage, ...)
Tips for guide & driver (always optional, always appreciated)
Through various ecotourism projects and initiatives, Nomad's Land aims to increase awareness of ecotourism and responsible travel, for a sustainable development of the tourism sector.
Beyond the Glacier, a short film over the water in Central Asia
Conflicts over water in Central Asia are at the heart of the short film Beyond the Glacier, directed by David Rodríguez Muñiz in 2019. An interesting documentary that takes the form of a journey, from the glaciers of Kyrgyzstan to the sea of Kyrgyzstan. Aral.
Silk Road Yurt Camp
Another yurt camp that Nomad's Land is supporting so that shepherds of Song Kul Lake can get extra income from tourists. With the family of Sagyn and Jumabek, we have prepared this camp in order to keep all the nomadic authenticity. You can participate in the daily activities of nomads. Not far from the camp, you can access the shores of the lake but also the petroglyphs hidden in the nearby mountains.
CBT Talas offers a good alternative to poor housing that can be found in the town of Talas. Turdubek, the coordinator, will be glad to show its oblast. CBT Talas as one the most important ecotouristic actor in Talas is our partner in order to organize the long trek between Talas and Sary Shelek lakes. Ask us for our cultural, horseback riding and trekking's programs.